3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

College midterms are right around the corner. Cue all the panic.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, midterms can bring on intense amounts of pressure. Here are our three favorite pieces of advice for acing your college midterms (without heaps of stress).

Take Study Breaks with This Simple Trick

Are you cramming a ton of material into a weekend study session?

It might sound simple, but make sure to factor in plenty of breaks if you want to retain the material better. Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a time management method that can help you get the most out of your study session.

Here’s how it works. You break your study material down into smaller, more manageable chunks (and it really works). The Pomodoro Technique is easy:

  • You pick a task, like a few chapters you need to read or an outline you plan to write. 
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes. During the next 25 minutes, you have to promise yourself that you won’t do anything BUT that task. 
  • Work on the task without any interruptions until the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, take a quick break. Spend 5 minutes doing anything but work, whether it’s stretching or grabbing some more coffee. 
  • After your 5-minute break, start the timer again for the next task. Rinse and repeat. Once you’ve done this 4 times, take a longer break for 20 or 30 minutes.

It works because our brain needs rest in order to concentrate. It’s also easy to get sidetracked by our phone, Netflix, or stress. Using the Pomodoro method helps eliminate some of those distractions.

You can manually set a timer on your phone. I personally use a free app called BeFocused so I don’t have to mess with a timer, but either way works! BeFocused is an iPhone app, but if you have an Android use you can use something like Pomodoro Timer.

 

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Is breathing something you consciously think about? It can save you from stress.

We’re slammed during midterm season. When we’re hit with the overwhelm of studying for everything at once and our to-do list is packed with endless tasks, we forget how to take deep breaths.

Not only can meditation help you remember your material better, but you also don’t need to spend a ton of time doing it to reap the benefits. I was terrible at meditating when I first tried it. I use the free version of the app Headspace to help (available via iPhone and Android). All it takes is three minutes and you instantly feel better!

Even if you’re not interested in meditation, focus on deep breathing when insane amounts of stress begin to hit you. Here’s how you do it:

  • Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose until you feel your stomach begin to rise. Note: you want the air to enter all the way into your belly instead of just your chest.  
  • Breathe out through your nose. But make sure your exhale is even longer than your inhale (this is essential). If you inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. 
  • Repeat for 3-5 minutes! Try it out; you’re guaranteed to instantly feel calmer and less stressed.

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

 

Start Your Study Plan Now

Don’t wait to get started! Figure out your study plan a couple weeks in advance.

It seems like professors all schedule their midterms at the same time, right? Enter panic mode.

If you want to avoid major anxiety this semester, get your study schedule nailed down now.

Planning out what days you’ll study, creating your own study guides, and organizing the material will help you prioritize every class. This way you’re not devoting all of your time and energy to just one class.

Your personal study guides can be a simple outline of key topics and ideas you plan to study. Getting a game plan together now will help clear your head.

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

So you want to learn how to do well in college?

Whether you’re new to campus or want to take things to the next level this semester, here are 5 tips for student success.

Let’s jump into it.

1. Get 7 Hours of Sleep

It might seem like stating the obvious, but getting enough sleep each night is the key to student success.

Why? When you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, you’ll perform better at school. Rest keeps you alert, focused, and motivated. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can lead to increased anxiety and stress.

But who doesn’t want to sleep more, anyway?

Well, college isn’t exactly known for its downtime. Late night sessions at the library and all-nighters during exam time aren’t exactly news here. And to be 100% honest, there likely will be times where you find yourself up WAY later than planned to finish working on a project or writing the rest of that paper.

Hey, nobody’s perfect.

But if we’re being real, those late night study sessions can usually be prevented with better planning. Yes, you’re juggling a lot in school. You’re busy running from class to class and balancing homework with extracurricular activities or jobs—but you probably have a little more time than you realize.

So how can you find enough time to get in those zZz’s and stay on top of your studies? Keep reading to find out.

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

2. Break Up Your Tasks

This student productivity idea has two steps. First, find pockets of time where you can complete some work.

Then break up your major projects into smaller chunks. Instead of trying to cram in 150 pages into one study session, you could read a couple of chapters while you’re waiting for your next class to start.

You might need to reorder your to-do list.

I’ll bet that if you find yourself with 10 minutes to kill, you probably spend it on social media. However, keep in mind those few minutes will add up big time throughout the day. What are some other ways you can squeeze in a small task during that time?

I know you can find some pockets of time in your day if you try hard enough. Because the truth is, another benefit of breaking down your tasks is the big assignments become less overwhelming. For example, when you’re working on a paper. Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank page, struggling to get started? Writer’s block is pretty common.

What if you could cut the amount of time you spend on writing in half by turning that 15-page term paper into a step-by-step process?

Start with gathering research, put it into a thorough outline, and then turn it into a paper. If you flesh out your outline, the paper will nearly write itself. (Seriously, try it out and let us know how it goes!)

When you start using your time more efficiently, you can improve your performance.

How’s that? Let’s go back to the cram session. If you’re trying to read 150 pages in one session, it’s tough. You’ll probably rush through the material and skim through a lot of it, missing out on a lot of information.

At the time same, when you know you only need to read 1 or 2 chapters you’ll feel less pressure to rush through the material.

 

3. Participate in Class

Believe it or not, your professors want you to learn.

Participating during their lectures will actually help you retain the material better. This is because it forces you to think critically and analyze what your professor is teaching. What’s more, participation makes the class more interesting.

When your professors know you want to learn, they’ll naturally try to help you in any way they can. Class discussions offer you the opportunity to receive feedback from your professors that will help you improve and grow as a student.

Plus, starting conversations leads to a mentor relationship. If something ever DID come up or you made a mistake, your professor will probably be more understanding with a student they know is hard-working.

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

4. Get Organized

Now, you don’t need a ton of supplies to stay organized. An accordion binder (labeled for each class) and a planner are a great place to begin.

Take these with you to every single class so they’re always handy. Pencil in assignments, exams, and other major due dates into your planner as soon as you find out about them.

Then, take time at the beginning of each week to (roughly) plan things out.

In this case, you’ll be able to see what’s on your agenda ahead of time and go into each week with a game plan.

 

5. Take Notes (Lots of Them)

You already know you’re supposed to take notes–but I want to offer you one particular piece of advice on note-taking.

Physically write them out. In a notebook during class. Even if your professor gives out printed notes or study guide…take your own. According to NPR, handwriting out notes seems to help your brain retain what you’re learning better than note-taking on a laptop or tablet.

Remember how we said participating in class helps make it more interesting? So does taking notes.

In fact, professors seem to LOVE throwing in extra credit on exams that came directly from lectures. It’s their reward for attending class. It never hurts to take advantage of extra points, right?

 

In Conclusion

Overall, college is learning time management skills. Getting enough rest, organizing your deadlines, and following along in class (through participating and note-taking) are all ways to boost your performance in school.

And breaking down huge projects into smaller tasks will make everything more manageable–and less overwhelming.

Studying Tips To Help You Be Successful This Semester

Studying can be tough and when you are in college it you simply cannot avoid tests, quizzes and exams. So here are some studying tips for you to ensure that you are successful this semester.

These tips are relatively simple all you need to do is follow them no matter what. Stick to these and you will see how you excel this semester.

Schedule A Time

Similar to your classes/lectures, you need to set aside time for studies as well. Nothing but studies. You need to schedule some time for some uninterrupted studying. You could even do it bit by bit during your normal activities keep your college books closeby always. Or there are online books you could start some online studying slowly. It’s a little like that Shia Labeouf video… “Just Do it”

Set the best time when you feel the most alert and fresh. It could be early morning, evening or late at night whatever works out best for you.

Comfortable, Study Space

Now the second thing is about having an environment to study. It can be difficult to study in a dorm or rather impossible because sometimes friends are unable to take a hint that you need to study. Or simply you guys are having so much fun that the idea of studying sounds boring right? It happens. But studying is important and to clear the semester you have to study. Empty classrooms in the building, unoccupied library floors are great for quiet studying. Find a cozy corner and get to it.

Pack your bag with some snacks so your time is not wasted on trips to vending machine. Music is great for math/chemsitry so have some instrumentals or classical music with you. Make the best study environment for yourself so that you are not distracted and can focus fully. Put your phone away on silent. Take a phone break every half hour for five minutes.

Practicing a Study Method

For some re-reading the notes and college text books is sufficient enough so are able to absorb quickly. For some flash cards work best. They are really old and can assist you in getting as much information you mind can retain for your next if it involves a lot of vocabulary or terminology.

If writing them yourself is too much trouble you could get study material online from online books to free online flashcards.

Find a method and stick to it

As stated earlier, different methods and techniques work for different people. Some students are comfortable in studying from online lectures and online books. For those who cannot afford the costly books, there is also the option of getting cheap textbooks easily. These cheap textbooks not only affordable and find them a great help too.

So whatever that helps you in studying and in retaining information do not stop doing it. If you tend to get bored of monotonous study methods and college books, try something else for some time. But if they are helping you in getting good grades then it is wise to continue with them.

So, stick to a schedule find the best studying method and stick to it. Being consistent is the key and you shall see for yourself how your grades go up.

Good luck!